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The toolkit, which provides practical advice and resources to help farmers improve health and safety on their farms, has been developed by Safer Farms, ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand’s health and safety programme designed with farmers and the wider agricultural sector.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Federated Farmers were among the groups which provided input to the toolkit. Beef + Lamb New Zealand, in addition to working with WorkSafe on the new toolkit, is working with sheep and beef farmers to help them meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Sam McIvor, says that by the end of June, the organisation will have run over 70 health and safety workshops for more than 2,100 attendees around the country.
“There’s no question that as an industry we need to make sure we have good health and safety practices in place on our farms,” says Mr McIvor. “We’ve been working closely with WorkSafe and farmers to get these systems in place on sheep and beef farms. Tools, like those promoted on the WorkSafe website, give farmers good practical information to make their farms safe places to operate,” McIvor says.
Al McCone, WorkSafe’s Agriculture Programme Manager says that while many farmers recognise that proactive planning is needed to make sure they can keep healthy and safe, they find it difficult to know where to start with changing their approach. He reassures farmers that this doesn’t need to be hard. The easy-to-use toolkit concentrates on those things that make a difference on farm, which are also at the heart of the new Health and Safety at Work Act - involving everyone on farm, recognising health as well as injury risks, and working with other businesses to make sure overlapping risks are managed.
“Fit and healthy people are a critical factor for successful farming. In 2013, around 20 per cent of agricultural workers made a farming-related injury claim to ACC, at a cost of over $26 million. Some of those injuries will keep costing for several years. Keeping everyone on your farm safe and healthy helps ensure a farm is productive and profitable.
“The new toolkit can help farmers keep safe and keep farming,” says Mr McCone.
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Start a plan to help make your farm healthier and safer. Keep safe, keep farming.